Members of Missouri’s congressional delegation called on the federal government to investigate the energy issues currently gripping the Midwest in the face of winter storms.
The legislators sent a letter to Richard Glick, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, requesting a review of the nation’s natural gas supply.
“Due to the surge in energy demand across the state, residents have been experiencing electricity outages, rolling blackouts, and controlled service interruptions during an incredibly precarious time as temperatures continue to drop,” the letter read. “We respectfully request FERC to expeditiously review the circumstances of this situation as it relates to natural gas supplies, the rates of interstate transmission of natural gas, and take the necessary steps needed to address this crisis.”
“In light of these challenges, we need to ensure there is an adequate supply of affordable energy and natural gas for families, farmers, and businesses in Missouri and the Midwest,” it said.
The letter was signed by U.S. Senators Roy Blunt and Josh Hawley, along with U.S. Representatives Blaine Luetkemeyer, Jason Smith, Emanuel Cleaver, Vicky Hartzler, Ann Wagner, Sam Graves, and Billy Long. Congresswoman Cori Bush was the only Missouri delegate not to sign on the request.
Winter storms gripped the Midwest this week, with frigid temperatures and heavy snowfall impacting the center of the country. In Missouri, utility companies initiated rolling blackouts earlier this week to conserve energy on the grid, following orders from multi-state transmission group Southwest Power Pool. Some customers still saw uncontrolled outages and extended blackouts throughout the state.
Missouri’s Public Service Commission (PSC) Chairman Ryan Silvey discussed the response of utility companies with The Missouri Times earlier this week, noting that rolling blackouts allowed the grid to conserve power. He also said that while part of Missouri is part of the SPP and Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO), Texas had its own localized transmission group and lacked the backup network other states have.
Silvey and various utility companies also urged customers to cut back on energy use to conserve power for the grid and save money on utility costs. Customers have been warned utility bills could rise.
The storms also stalled Missouri’s legislative process. The Senate paused its work until next Monday, while the House came in for a shortened week beginning Wednesday.